Hot dog! I’ve been a cooking machine today! For some reason I felt really inspired to cook today and actually had the time.
I whipped up this delish Winter Detox Moroccan Sweet Potato Lentil Soup from Little Spice Jar in the Instant Pot. I halved the recipe so I could serve it with dinner as a little side. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of using the Instant Pot set on slow cooker for 3 hours & my immersion blender when the soup was done to make it less lentilie. My husband has a thing about the texture of beans, lentils, etc., so I thought if I blended it all up he may give it a try. To my surprise he sure did & loved it! My 3 year old devoured it, too!
I also had some leftover coconut milk in the fridge along with some chicken thighs. I thought, well, why don’t I mix up a harissa paste (just mixed 1TBSP olive oil & 2TBSP harissa) and then whisk that up with the coconut milk as a marinade for the chicken. I did just that, left it in the fridge for about three hours and then cooked it up on my grill pan. The marinade did look a little chunky, funky when it came out of the fridge, but OMG were the flavors fabulous! Not too spicy either, which made it a meal the whole family could enjoy.
Lastly, I sautéed up red onion, asparagus and a few cherry tomatoes that I halved until they were only slightly soft to serve the chicken over. They paired perfectly and I was able to clean out a ton of ingredients from my fridge!
Why did I not take any pictures to share? Uh, well honestly, I forgot because I was so hungry when we sat down to eat & watch the Steelers beat the Chiefs. Oh yeah! Next time I will try to remember pictures.
Cooking has really been so much more enjoyable now that I am taking more time for me. My son and I are cooking together too & I absolutely love that! Keeping up with my inspiration I decided to plan out meals for the week and if I had the energy I would write up a weekly menu for y’all.
Yup, I just wrote y’all. It just looks and sounds so much sweeter than you guys. 😉
You can thank that 3pm cup of coffee I had for bringing you this week’s menu. Ay yi yi, when will I learn!
Let’s take a look at what’s cookin’…
** Click the recipe title for the full recipe. Bookmark or Pin so you can easily reference when you are cooking. **
- My son is dairy free, so I will sub the heavy cream for coconut cream. I do it almost all the time in recipes that call for heavy cream and so far no complaints!
- I’m a fan of Frank’s RedHot because 1) it is my hubby’s favorite 2) the ingredient list doesn’t have anything uber weird on it. Mix with a little butter (if you tolerate dairy) to make your own wing sauce.
- Against All Grain’s Dairy Free Ranch
- Celery, carrot and cucumber sticks
Baked Salmon with Teriyaki Kelp Noodles
- Inspiration for this dish came from the salmon teriyaki recipe by Rasa Malaysia. I’ve had a bag of kelp noodles staring me in the face for a few months now, so I’m going to sub the rice noodles for them. If you’re saying ew gross, kelp noodles…just give ’em a chance! I love that you don’t have to cook them and they work wonderfully with soups, pad thai dishes, etc.
- I plan to sauté up some shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and red bell pepper because a noodle dish isn’t complete to me unless it has veggies.
- None needed
- I’d like to skip the packaged gravy mix, so my plan is to improvise with this Brown Gravy Mix recipe by using about 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules and 1/4 tsp pepper all thrown into the slow cooker.
- Gluten free panko breadcrumbs are sold at my local market, but if you can’t find them subbing GF breadcrumbs would work.
- Your favorite roasted veggies OR a salad
Chicken Apple Breakfast Hash
I’m trying to use up what we have in our freezer & pantry as much as possible lately. The last few market trips have left us stuffed to the gills with food, but because I haven’t been meal planning I always end up back at the market. WTF chuck?!? Ok, alright…the over abundance of food is definitely my fault. 😉
My family loves a good breakfast for dinner. With some chicken apple breakfast sausages in my freezer I thought of whipping up a hash. Plus, this time of year with the chilly weather it is the best comfort food. Make sure you have your hot sauce!
- My base for the dish is going to be Sheet Pan Hash Browns from Macheesmo. (you could use store bought hash browns) I will skip the dairy so my little guy can eat dinner that night. He’s a fan of eating three, sometimes six meals a day!
- While the hash browns bake, take the uncooked (don’t buy the precooked sauseeeege) breakfast sausage out of the casing and sauté in your frying pan until mostly cooked. Transfer to a plate.
- In the same pan sauté a few of your favorite veggies…I plan to cook up mushrooms, red onion and a little kale. Once that is all cooked through add the sausage back in and mix well.
- Crack about 3-4 eggs on top (usually one egg per person, but if your kiddos likes scrambled you’re gonna need another pan…sorry!) and cook covered on medium low until the eggs are cooked through.
- Once the eggs are cooked, cut a chunk of hash browns from the pan and slide onto a plate.
- Use a spatula to slide under the hash toppings in your frying pan and then plop that on top of your taters.
- Hot sauce is a favorite with any type of hash.
- Cut up some fresh fruit if you feel like you need a little something more with the dinner.
Taco Pizzas with Pulled Chicken
Homemade pizza night I look forward to every Friday now with my boys. BUT, despite getting creative with our pizza toppings I am over another usual pizza night. Hence my idea inspired by Life in the Loft House & her Mexican Pizza.
- For my dairy free, gluten free kiddo I plan to buy GF tortillas and have lots of guac on hand. He doesn’t really know the goodness of cheese so he doesn’t miss it, but the kid will mow down a cup of guac, no problem.
- For the toppings I will set out: refried beans, pulled chicken, sliced black olives, guacamole…lots of guac, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cilantro and cheese.
- For the pulled chicken, plop a couple (if serving 2 adults & 1 or 2 small kiddos) chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a can of THE BEST enchilada sauce around. It’s gluten free & vegan too! Cook on low for 4 hours and then shred the chicken up before dinner.
- Chips and salsa
- For dairy free leave out the cheese.
- Instead of Spike seasoning I plan to use a little dried oregano, basil, onion powder and garlic powder.
- I will have the feta on the side for the dairy eaters in my family.
- I plan to make my grandfather’s tomato, red onion and basil salad. Slice up a few cloves a garlic and rub them around the dish you are serving your salad in. Place the garlic in that dish and then add in about four chopped tomatoes with sliced red onion and torn fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours.
- Instead of heavy cream I will use coconut cream. Trader Joe’s carries it, but full fat coconut milk will work as well.
- Look for a good marsala in the wine section of your market. I bought one a couple of months ago & WOW does it make a difference. I think the bottle was about $8.
- I will whip up some Easy Arborio Rice to serve the marsala over.
- My favorite go to salad with Italian is Ceasar, but to keep it simple I buy hearts of romain, pre-shredded parm and an organic Ceasar dressing.
It’s about time for me to hit the hay, but now I’m hungry! I really need to start writing these menus right after breakfast. 🙂
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and enjoy Martin Luther King, Jr. day tomorrow. He definitely is a man to honor and celebrate. We need more kindness and compassion in our world.
Make it a great week my friends!
Cheers | Kate